Technical Papers and Articles

  • Technical Paper:  Improving Condenser Reliability and Availability Through Effective Cleaning and Testing
    Technical Paper: Improving Condenser Reliability and Availability Through Effective Cleaning and Testing

    Sector: Power Generation

    Losses attributed to condenser tube leaks, fouling and failures continue to climb, costing the power generation industry an estimated half a billion dollars annually in maintenance costs and loss of production. For the period 2008 through 2010 condenser tube related forced outages and derates were responsible for removing over 9.1 million megawatt hours from the grid. To adequately prevent condenser tube failures, effective tube cleaning and nondestructive testing must be performed. Effective tube cleaning should ideally remove all deposits, leaving only the cleanest metal surface. Once tubes are free of fouling deposits, multi-frequency eddy current testing should be used to establish the overall integrity of the condenser tubing.

    Keywords: condenser tube cleaners, condenser tube cleaning, condenser cleaning, heat exchanger tube cleaner, heat exchanger cleaning, condenser leak testing, condenser air inleakage, condenser helium leak testing, air inleakage helium leak tests, condenser tube leaks, condenser tube failure, condenser vacuum leak testing

  • Technical Paper:  Optimizing the Cleaning of Heat Exchangers
    Technical Paper: Optimizing the Cleaning of Heat Exchangers

    Sector: Refining and Petrochemical

    The proper performance of shell and tube type heat exchangers within a process can affect the cost of the final product, or even the production rate. Unfortunately, heat exchangers are prone to fouling, its nature depending on the fluids flowing within and over the tubes: and the reduction in heat transfer that results almost invariably has an impact on product cost. To reduce this impact, heat exchanger performance should be intelligently monitored and the heat exchanger cleaned atintervals that are determined from optimal economic criteria.

    Keywords: heat exchanger cleaning optimization, optimizing condenser cleaning, optimizing heat exchanger cleaning, heat exchanger fouling, condenser tube cleaners, condenser tube cleaning, heat exchanger tube cleaners, heat exchanger tube cleaning, condenser cleaning, heat exchanger cleaning, condenser cleaning methods, heat exchanger cleaning methods

     

  • Technical Paper: Using Turbine Thermal Kit Data to Benchmark Condenser Performance Calculations
    Technical Paper: Using Turbine Thermal Kit Data to Benchmark Condenser Performance Calculations

    Sector: Power Generation

    In the past, the performance of a condenser has been judged by empirical criteria such as cleanliness factor, terminal temperature difference and/or cooling water pressure drop. However, these criteria vary with load, cooling water inlet temperature and cooling water flow rate. Thus, to base maintenance or operating decisions on deviations in the empirical criteria requires that these other factors be taken into account. One way to avoid this is to develop a benchmark or reference condenser duty. A source for this reference can be found in the analysis of turbine thermal kit data to create a design model of the turbine LP stage.

    Keywords: condenser performance, condenser monitoring, condenser performance monitoring, condenser tube cleaning, condenser cleanliness, condenser tube cleaners, heat exchanger tube cleaning, tubesheet fouling loss, fouled condenser, cooling water flow rate

  • Technical Paper: The Measurement of Condenser Losses Due to Fouling and Due to Air Ingress
    Technical Paper: The Measurement of Condenser Losses Due to Fouling and Due to Air Ingress

    Sector: Power Generation

    The performance of a steam surface condenser is negatively affected not only by tube fouling but also by the presence of excessive amounts of air within the shell side of the condenser. However, because they have similar effects, it has been the custom to lump their costs together. Clearly, if the contribution of each to operating cost could be estimated with some confidence, then maintenance decisions would become focused on whether it is more important to clean the condenser or to remove the source of an air in-leakage.

    Keywords: condenser fouling, condenser air inleakage, condenser air inleakage helium testing, condenser tube cleaning, condenser leak detection, helium leak testing, condenser air in-leakage, condenser tube cleaner, heat exchanger tube cleaner, condenser tracer gas leak testing

  • Technical Paper: Proper Maintenance Practices for Condenser Cleaning and Inleakage Inspection
    Technical Paper: Proper Maintenance Practices for Condenser Cleaning and Inleakage Inspection

    Sector: Power Generation

    The proper performance of the condenser is critical to minimizing the operating costs of a turbogenerator unit, in terms of both heat rate and generation capacity. After reviewing the major causes for deteriorating condenser performance, a distinction is drawn between those causes that are cyclical or predictable and those that occur at random time intervals. In the first category, the fouling of condenser tubes and/or tubesheet can be corrected by cleaning, the intervals between which can be optimized. A number of cleaning techniques are reviewed. The second category is concerned with water or air in-leakage, the return of the condenser to normal operation depending on how quickly the source of the leak can be located and then corrected. Tracer gas techniques for leak detection have become the preferred method.

    Keywords: condenser leak testing, condenser helium leak testing, condenser helium leak detection, condenser vaccum leak testing, condenser air inleakage, condenser air in-leakage, condenser tube leak, tube leak detection, tracer gas leak testing, tracer gas leak inspection, tracer gas leak detection, SF6 condenser leak detection, air inleakage helium test, air in-leakage helium testing

  • Technical Paper: Economic Effects of Condenser Backpressure on Heat Rate...
    Technical Paper: Economic Effects of Condenser Backpressure on Heat Rate...

    Sector: Power Generation

    Variations in condenser backpressure about design can impact the economic operation of a turbogenerator unit in terms not only of heat rate, but also of the cost of chemicals used to compensate for the dissolved oxygen concentration in both the condensate and feedwater. These effects can be adjusted by employing means to control condenser backpressure and this paper examines how the costs of these effects can be evaluated and suggests some approaches for the active control of backpressure.

    Keywords: condenser backpressure, condenser back pressure, condensate subcooling, rankine cycle performance

  • Article: Handling the Pressure (Cleaning Air Heaters with Liquid Nitrogen)
    Article: Handling the Pressure (Cleaning Air Heaters with Liquid Nitrogen)

    Sector: Power Generation

    Originally published in World Coal Magazine, this article reviews the growing interest in the utilization of a dry, environmentally friendly alternative to high-pressure water for the cleaning of power plant rotary air preheaters.  

    Keywords:  rotary air heater cleaning, air preheater cleaning, ljungstrom air heater cleaning, ljungstrom rotary air preheater cleaning, liquid nitrogen cleaning, nitro lance, nitrolance, 

  • Article: Calcium Carbonate Scale Removal from Nuclear Condenser Tubing
    Article: Calcium Carbonate Scale Removal from Nuclear Condenser Tubing

    Sector: Power Generation

    Originally published in Power Engineering Magazine, this article examines how South Texas Project Nuclear utilized Conco Systems calcium carbonate scale removal tool, the Cal-Buster™ to remove over four cubic yards of calcium carbonate scale weighing two and a half tons from the plant's unit one 96,234 titanium tubes.  Following the cleaning, South Texas Project employed the same strategy in the cleaning of their Unit 2 condensers.  This article depicts and excellent alternative to chemical based cleaning for the effective removal of calcium scale.

    Keywords: condenser tube cleaner, condenser tube cleaners, condenser tube cleaning, condenser calcium scale, cal-buster, calbuster, heat exchanger tube cleaner, heat exchanger cleaning, tube cleaners, tube cleaning brush, metal tube cleaner, condenser calcium scaling, removing calcium carbonate from tubing

  • Technical Paper:  The Cleaning of Air Cooled Condensers to Improve Performance
    Technical Paper: The Cleaning of Air Cooled Condensers to Improve Performance

    Sector: Power Generation

    This paper identifies the basic configurations of air-cooled condensers used in the power industry together with their advantages and disadvantages when compared to those exhibited by traditional steam surface condensers. The several factors that affect the performance of air-cooled condensers are described in detail, especially the consequences that result from the fouling of the finned-tubes. Measuring the performance of air-cooled condensers is, clearly, an important task and some methods are identified, alternative ways of presenting the data also being included.

    Keywords: air cooled condenser cleaning, acc cleaning, (acc) air cooled condenser cleaning, (acc) air cooled condenser leak detection, fintech acc, fin fan cleaning, fin-fan cleaning, fin-fan condenser cleaning, fin fan condenser cleaning, fin fan radiator cleaning, acc helium leak detection, acc tube replacement, air cooled condenser tube repair, air cooled condenser helium leak testing

  • Technical Paper: Hitting a Home Run! - A Condenser Success Story
    Technical Paper: Hitting a Home Run! - A Condenser Success Story

    Sector: Power Generation

    The largest single factor that can affect turbine cycle efficiency within a generation station is the heat transfer of the condenser. Depending on turbine design, poor condenser performance can cost as much as 7% in extra fuel being consumed. Thus, maintaining condenser performance can be of benefit not only economically to the plant but also to the environment. The factors affecting condenser heat transfer are; tube-sheet macro fouling, tube deposits, air inleakage and air removal pump condition.

    Keywords: condenser tube cleaner, condenser tube cleaning, condenser tube fouling, heat exchanger tube cleaner, heat exchanger tube cleaning, condenser tube fouling, condenser tube blockage, condenser air inleakage, condenser air inleakage helium detection, condenser air in-leakage detection, condenser helium leak testing, condenser tube leaks, helium leak detection